Uruguay to issue 2024 benchmark bond of up to $2 billion

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Uruguay will issue a new benchmark bond of up to $2 billion due in 2024, the government said in an official decree on Tuesday as part of a debt buy-back program aimed at improving the South American country's credit profile.

Up to half the proceeds of the deal will be used to purchase outstanding government bonds, the decree said.

Uruguay's economy ministry gave initial price guidance of 200 basis points over comparable U.S. treasuries, according to IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

The ministry's debt director, Azucena Arbeleche, told Reuters that results of the sale, managed by HSBC and Deutsche Bank, would be announced on Wednesday.

Uruguay's outstanding bonds include $166.8 million in 2015 debt paying interest of 7.15 percent, $96 million of 2017 bonds paying 9.25 percent, $1.23 billion in 2022 bonds paying 8 percent and $391.9 million in 2025 bonds paying 6.875 percent.

In November of last year, the South American country sold $500 million in 2045 global bonds at a yield of 4.125 percent, as part of a debt liability operation that included a swap for shorter-dated paper and cash buy-back's.

(Reporting by Felipe Llambias Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by James Dalgleish and Andrew Hay)